MIL extreme favoritism-what should I do?

Becky - posted on 08/02/2015 ( 4 moms have responded )

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It's no secret that my MIL favors the oldest. He is only the oldest buy 1 and a half years. We made the mistake of letting them spend the night with her the other night, resulting in the youngest not feeling comfortable and he wanted to come home. She downs him any time she is around him and scolds him for things that don't need scolding. They are both her biological grandsons (they are my step, but DH and I have full custody). Their bio-mom used to favor the younger, back when custody was shared, but neither of them hear much from bio mom now that we have sole custody. Anyway, MIL has been showing favoritism, buying the oldest things, giving him money, and projecting bad characteristics on the youngest that just are not true. It's been irritating me, but I have always felt that maybe she is doing it to make up for the way biomom treated him in the past. It's also never been anything extremely profound, but it is still quite noticeable. Well, both boys now want new cell phones. They have both been asking for a nicer one, but DH and I are both nursing students on a really, really tight budget. We will graduate soon, but we just can't do this for them right now.
Yesterday MIL went out and bought the oldest, (he is 13) a brand new iPhone 6 and put it on a contract, and plans to pay for it monthly. She didn't get one for the 12 year old. When the younger one found out about this, he began to cry hysterically. MIL immediately got defensive, started showing her butt, and gas-lighting the youngest. She was saying that he didn't want one, when he had just told her the day before that he wanted one. She was so angry, and she left in a rage. I swear I think she just does these things to hurt him. The kicker? It was just the youngest one's bday 2 weeks ago, and she only gave him $20. On top of that, he asked her for $3 yesterday (before we knew about the phone) to go skating and she said "No." I didn't have any cash and DH had my bank card at work. I was even going to give the $3 back to her. She still wouldn't do it.
Now DH and I have a dilemma. We do not want him to have this phone because it is so unfair to his younger brother. However, she has put us in the position where we are the bad guys to the oldest by not letting him have what was given to him. What should we do? How do we end this?

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Michelle - posted on 08/03/2015

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She's crazy!!!!
It's wise to not have any contact with her is she's going to act like a toddler.

Becky - posted on 08/03/2015

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My husband has nicely told her each time that she does something extra for the oldest that it isn't fair to the youngest. She always makes some sort of excuse. This thread is now the least of our worries. The night I posted this she called the oldest's new phone. DH and I were already in bed. She got on the phone with the youngest and told him he is ruining the family because he wants an iPhone too. She was basically trying to place guilt on him to try and make him not want a phone. When i learned this, I called her and told her I was bringing the oldest's phone back. She began cussing me and calling me every name in the book, and she threatened to call the police on me if I took his phone from him and borough it to her. Well, I took it anyway and placed it in her yard. She has since called all of her family (my in laws) and told them that I am molesting my step children. She also told DH last night that she has told that to the police as well. All of this over a phone. DH and I are cutting her out completely. There will be no more favoritism because she will never see them EVER again.

Michelle - posted on 08/02/2015

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So what have you or your husband said to her about it? If nothing has been said then she might think that no one is noticing. If you have said something about it then she's just being childish. Let her know that both boys need to be treated the same and if she can't do that then she won't get to spend time with them.

Becky - posted on 08/02/2015

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I also want to add that MIL is very childish. She has been doing petty things, for instance, the only pics that she will "like" on Facebook is pics of the oldest of him by himself. If the youngest is in it, she will not "like" it. She also has her drama-llama, monster of a sister only liking posts of him as well. It is unreal that we are having to deal with things like this. The youngest sees it, and he has even said that he knows she loves his brother more. I know how much it has to hurt him, and I don't want a wedge driven between the two boys.

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